BORMIO many have looked beautiful the previous evening thanks to those open wine cellars, the beautiful architecture and sociable people who knew how to drink without turning yobbish but the town took on a much more bizzare look the following morning. You see a tradition on all Street Safari events is that Day Three is a costume day – and, for all those teams keen to score as many points as they can, they’d need to dress up.
We donned our Chaos gear (not Superman, I know, but even better) again and burst onto the scene joining the fun in the Bormio car park chosen as Day Three’s kick off point. Hooting our boat horns and generally having a laugh, it seemed like a great way to start the day – even if we’d all had about two hours’ sleep!
Bormio leads pretty much straight into Stelvio and it was great for all the teams to head up the hill in a crap car train. One thing that had happened during the past couple of days was that the field became strung out and convoys didn’t really form – so this was very good indeed. With me taking the first stint, it seemed only fair to start overtaking whenever the opportunity arose – and, with Dave alongside me telling me when to go, who was I to argue.
Stelvio was busy alright and it was tough going but the other teams took being scalped in good humour and, when we made it to the top to kick back and talk to the other teams, it was clear we were going to have a couple more runs. Sadly, Mr Duck’s Citroen 1CV hadn’t made it to the top under its own steam and Justin had towed it up with his S2N support van. A plan had been hatched – the team that had come along in a Bedford CF2 beavertail (really…) would pick up the stricken Citroen and carry it to the end of the event. Good effort.
Unlike S2N, which sees Day Three as little more than a long motorway schlep, CRX majors on scenery so, once we’d finished out trip over Stelvio, it was off for an easy drive across Austria into Salzburg. However, there was the matter of Stelvio to contend with first – and, now I was up top, Dave wanted to drive it back down – and up again. Fine by me, as it’s hard to argue with someone so persuasive – besides, Andrew wanted a go, too – and, this way, we’d all be happy.
We scorched back down – and back up again while the other teams rested their cars at the top and enjoyed crowding the mountain top village. The video should tell you all you need to know. I think Dave was the scariest of the three of us on Stelvio but we all had moments which combined exhilaration with terror.
Andrew kept repeating, ‘You couldn’t make it up’, and that pretty much summed up the experience.
With Stelvio out of the way, we stopped at the bottom and enjoyed a nice and civilised lunch before pairing with a couple of teams to head to the mountains and into Austria. The run was fantastic and we ended up taking the opportunity to seek out another pass just to avoid another boring day on the motorway. Let’s just say that we found it – Gachenblick was tucked out of the way, not particularly well sign-posted, and wonderful to drive up.
This truly was an interesting find in what had been a brilliant day. Sadly, all the teams seemed to get spread out again and, after heading for the hills and leaving the other two teams in our convoy behind, we didn’t see any other rally cars until we hit Salzburg. Sauntering up behind Beryl the Metro, we followed the guys to their hotel and booked a room. And this time – we had three beds! Thank goodness.
Another night’s ‘debrief’ lead to a 5.00am finish but hearing the stories from the other teams was great. Here’s just a few:
* One team, which had broken down on Day Two, stuck their car on a Motor Rail to make the beginning of Day Three only to have it die going up Stelvio.
* One team member underwent an attempted kidnap by an Italian gigolo. A 2km run was what it took to escape.
* One of the NCRAP boys was stopped by the Austrian police, who thought the ketchup on their car was actually blood.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.